India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve Trendsetters
April 03, 2017

The 23-Year-Old Owner of OYO Rooms Talks About Being A Young Entrepreneur

Text by Zaral Shah

Ritesh Agarwal’s venture successfully took the guesswork and anxiety out of affordable hotel accommodation

Always keen on starting something of his own, he launched hospitality brand OYO Rooms back in 2013.  Ritesh  Agarwal’s time as an entrepreneur has  taught  him the importance of  creating  an  ecosystem  of innovation by empowering people and making them partners in success.

Challenges along the way
There were considerable obstacles during OYO’s early phase. It was hard to convince hotel owners to join us since the concept was completely new for them. The business model was unique but untested. Once our partners saw how we were able to drive a real impact in their occupancy and revenue, we found new customers by word of mouth.

On your bookshelf
Zero to One by Peter Thiel — it’s an inspiring and thought-provoking book that teaches you how to think like a leader, Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing The Customer Experience by Jonathan Tisch, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping Our Future by Ashlee Vance.

Success is…
A moving target. We are just at the beginning of a long journey. In just three years OYO has come to have a presence in over 200 cities in India and Malaysia with 7,000 hotels as part of its network.

On a day off
Whenever I find some time, I read, cycle or practise yoga. To unwind, I generally catch a movie and meet friends.

Your wardrobe staples
Jeans, red T-shirts and black shirts.

Looking ahead
We have expanded our mission statement and taken on a huge challenge, that of creating quality living spaces at the right location and right price. The entire team is very excited about how 2017 is going to add to OYO’s journey.

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